Ethereal space age sounds will be brought back to earth this weekend when an interactive project is launched at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Visitors will literally be able to try their own hand at making the other-worldly sounds from today, when the innovative sculptures go on show in the park’s grounds.

No musical expertise is needed to make the entrancing sounds on the bollard-like installations, which were created by university lecturer David Young, following his work on a MA Composition degree.

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David said: “As a regular visitor to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for many years and as a practising sound designer and musician, I became really interested in the interaction between art, landscape and sound.

“Inspired by what I saw at the Park, I developed the Theremin Bollards. The bollard uses technology which means anybody can perform a piece of music beautifully, and can be used as a powerful tool in art therapy.”

Spontaneonous performances on the theremins by visitors are being encouraged by staff this weekend, when the instruments will be in use, to make the most of their short time in the park.

 

The unusual instrument was first patented by Russian inventor, Luis Theremin, in 1928 and is made up of two metal antennas, one which is responsible for frequency and the other for volume, which sense the relative position of the user’s hands.

Electric signals are then sent from the theremin, where they are amplified via a loudspeaker.

David will be on hand on Friday from 3pm to show members of the public how to get the best sounds out of the devices and they will be open to use from 10am to 5pm until Sunday.

A community event will reach the top notes on Sunday from 12pm, when the audience will have chance to star in the weekend’s headline show.

David Young with one of his Theremin Bollards at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
 

Professional musicians Vanessa Simmons, Kris Klavenes and Dub Barn Collective will provide the backing music for everyone to take part in their own open-air performance, which will also be accompanied by dance and performance from York-based community group, Chilli Bon Bon.

A spokeswoman for the park, said: “The theremin bollards are designed for music-making and offer an experience for spontaneous and improvisational performance. Aspiring musicians of Theremin Bollards don’t need any musical skills – all you need to do is move.”